As of early 2021, property agents in the UK will need a minimum of a level 3 qualification to meet the standards of regulation and all residential property businesses will need to be compliant with the latest requirements proposed by the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group.
Babington’s property expert, Matt Elson, has simplified the RoPA report to help Property Agents understand the new requirements that must be complied with.
WHERE HAVE THESE REQUIREMENTS COME FROM?
Since October 2018, the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA), chaired by Lord Best, has been examining the options available to raise standards across the Property sector. On 18th July 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) released the report of recommendations by RoPA which suggests that all residential property businesses must follow the latest standards.
WHAT ARE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS?
RoPA has suggested that:
- All company directors and managing agents within a residential property business should have a level 4 qualification, at least.
- All agencies that operate a residential property business should be licensed. Part of this licensing should include the company director undertaking a ‘fit and proper person test’. These tests typically involve high-level background checks to avoid unsuitable people from acquiring significant legal and financial responsibility within the Property sector.
- All employees within a residential property business that deliver “reserved activities” should also be licensed and adhere to a Code of Practice. “Reserved activities” should only be performed by a licensed individual at a regulated firm and so far include activities such as; conducting viewings, market appraisals, negotiation, singing contacts, providing direct advice to clients, handling client money, and the responsibility for conducting the health and safety compliance of a building. The Government will consider further activities, as this is just a starting point suggested by RoPA.
- All employees that deliver said “reserved activities” within a residential property business must be qualified to a minimum of level 3.
- A new regulator should be appointed to oversee compliance and regulation with an overarching Code of Practice. RoPA have suggested that the Government establish a new public body to undertake this role, which should publish an annual report on standard progression within the Property sector with key performance indicators for property agents.
RoPA were tasked with creating this report to advise the Government on ways to prevent bad practice and drive positive change within the property sector. Read the whole report here.
Babington urges property businesses to take a proactive approach to becoming compliant with the RoPA requirements before the official introduction in early 2021 so that they are fully prepared for change and can therefore be ahead of the competition.
RoPA recommends that every property agency should be responsible for ensuring that their staff are trained to the appropriate level and that they have clear future arrangements in place for junior staff.
Babington is a perfectly placed training provider to help your property business to become RoPA ready as we are the largest provider of Property apprenticeships in England, meaning we are experts within the sector.
Our Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships teach and build the skills and experience the learner will need to market, sell and rent homes and other properties. The level 3 apprenticeship will enable learners to be fully compliant with the latest requirements of the property industry and teach them to be fully involved in said above “reserved activities”, such as organising and carrying out instructions/ valuations and reacting to changes in the fast-moving property market.
As well as our current leading training programmes, we are proud to say that we are also currently developing a Level 4 Property Standard, to ensure that we can support all company directors and managing agents to be qualified to the minimum standard that is required by RoPA.
All of our Property qualifications, including the developing Level 4 standard, are through Propertymark Qualifications, to ensure our apprenticeships keep pace with changes in the industry and give learners certification to satisfy the entry requirement to become a qualified member of NAEA Propertymark or ARLA Propertymark at the relevant grade.
ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have been part of the RoPA working group, which has examined several key industry issues, including regulation and qualification and have long called for Government regulation to ensure everyone in the industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at least a Level 3 qualification, so we are confident that our apprenticeships will meet the newly announced requirements for property agents.
We also offer a property-focused traineeship, for those who are not yet ready for an apprenticeship but need to work their way towards these qualification levels.
Find out more about Babington’s Property Apprenticeship Routeways.